Cyber Threats In 2010: From the way people use Internet like in all the social networking sites to the way people carry out transactions in the upcoming cyber age, everything has changed and new ways have evolved, which have set the temptations and the resolutions for the cyber criminals to make their New Year a Happy one. More or less, Data will continue to be the primary motive behind future cyber crime—whether the victims be traditional fixed computing or mobile applications. As security expert George Heron says, “It’s all about the data,” whether botnets, malware, blended threats, mobile threats or cyber warfare attacks. As the social networking sites are going through a boom, cyber criminals will tend to use conspiring social networking tactics to cloak malcode in form of a legitimate mail with all the real looks and attractive web-links, like a facebook or myspace user receives a message quoted as sent by one of his friend displaying some videosurf link to a video of interest to the particular user. The link then requires him to install some online flash player to watch the video properly and as he accepts to install the so-called flash player, the malware gets its way through the system. Cyber criminals keep themselves aware of all the possible interests that surfers might show and leverage the news of the day to harm not-so-techy consumers. Although the consumers know to beware of links sent by strangers but they tend to trust the links sent by their friends and that’s the sneak-in point for attackers. And once a phisher gets its target in facebook, which has around 350 million users worldwide, it can lead to infection of an entire computing ecosystem. And the shortened URLs, as in twitter due to imposed character limits, have made it somewhat easy for the phishers as users don’t have any idea about the link unless they click it. As is quite obvious, more popular products like that of Adobe or Google are more prone to be sought into by cyber criminals as they are the most downloaded or the most browsed pages, like amongst all the users that seek documents over the net, nearly 80 percent go for *.pdf files or be it the Adobe’s flash player that the most surfers love to watch videos on.
Financial services are tough victims: But still they will stay to be the high-priority target for the attackers as the masses continue to bank online and the number of online bank accounts is increasing by huge proportions. More brilliant attackers are definitely going for it and they might have cracked the way to bypass bank’s layers of encryption by now. Besides, new browsers will attract the crooks as well with their all-new security patches and the larger number of users too. “It really speaks to a Web 2.0 world. People communicate differently today, people transact and pay their bills differently today, and that drives today’s criminals,” as said David Marcus, director of security research and communications for McAfee Labs, in its McAfee’s 2010 Threat Predictions report. The capacity to produce, communicate, and use information is affecting every area of national security, from the way we govern ourselves to the way we fight wars to the way transnational criminal organizations increase in scope and power to the way activists and extremists mobilize support across borders. Yet security measures against cyber threats are insufficient throughout both government and the private sector.
Prevention: The National Association of Federal Credit Union’s Technology and Security convention is to discuss how to prevent criminals from “lurking in cyberspace” and securing consumers’ details. It stated that the problem of phishing and identity theft cost US financial institutions around $3 billion (£1.5 billion) in the year 2009. Furthermore, the conference was informed, in certain online chat rooms it is possible to see genuine, stolen credit card information being sold to other criminal networks. Internet Business Law Services, an online resource containing regulations and laws which relate to the web, warned last year that phishing is one of the fastest-evolving online scams. Thus, to avoid both the short-term loss and long-term economic damage, with clients of major financial institutions sometimes being targeted, all the cyber surfers need to be wary of at least all the possible malwares sent in any of the ways and unpredictable links.Share